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Chemistry Personal Statement

Science is not just a subject taken in school, or a body of knowledge; it is a state of mind as well – always inquisitive and wondering. As a child, the world around me constantly captivated me and inspired questions, and I found delight in having my questions answered, always wanting to learn more, from fundamental particles, to atoms and molecules, to organisms, planets, and the universe. I started purchasing New Scientist magazine in my last year of primary school, and this initial interest in science ultimately led me to take A-Level Biology. While at first this was my sole science A-Level, I realised that more than anything else, my future lay in science. Since then, I have been studying all the sciences I could, and enjoyed Chemistry so much that I have opted to continue my studies in it at degree level.

Supplementary reading fuels my fascination, and drives me to further examine areas outside of my A-Levels; favourites include “The Disappearing Spoon” by Sam Kean, and “The Poisoner’s Handboook” by Deborah Blum, which details the birth of forensic chemistry, and reveals links between chemistry and biology, such as how different chemical compounds inhibit the activity of enzymes vital for our wellbeing. In addition, I have also made use of video lectures provided by MIT on various topics such as organic chemistry and bioengineering to complement the subjects I have studied in school, and, having been unable to take Physics, purchased physics textbooks and study them whenever I can.

Studying additional science subjects necessitated me completing a third year of Sixth Form, demonstrating my commitment to science, and I have made as much of this time as possible, choosing to study, in addition to A-Level Biology and Chemistry, A-Level Maths and Further Maths, the latter of which will be primarily self-taught. This has helped develop my logical and numeric skills, and helped me understand how concepts which seemed impossible to relate to everyday life are in fact a major part of our daily routines, such as how search engines use matrices and simultaneous equations.

As well as science and maths, I have also studied English Literature and Language and History at A-Level, in addition to BTEC Music. These reflect other areas about which I am passionate, and have helped me to gain knowledge and improve skills which will aid me in my degree and later life, such as the ability to analyse and research, as well as my writing and organisational skills. Within school, I was identified as a Gifted and Talented student, and was elected to be a prefect both in primary and secondary school, a role which taught me the values of responsibility, and demonstrates the work ethic and reliability I value.

Outside of my studies, I enjoy playing music, my main instrument currently being the guitar, which I have been playing for six years – I am studying this at Grade 8 level (having already achieved Grade 5 with a Merit, and opting to skip Grades 6 and 7), and I played in a band with friends, which shows my committed attitude to studying and practising. Prior to this, I played clarinet for four years; this classical education allowed me to apply the musical theory I had already learned to the guitar, meaning I progressed quickly, and demonstrates my ability to apply skills already learned to other areas. In addition, I was also involved in the Scout movement for ten years, a richly rewarding experience which I feel helped develop me into a well-rounded character, and taught me to function well both in group and individual situations.

I have always enjoyed challenging myself and pushing myself to be the best I can be, as well as being enthusiastic about education in itself; studying at university is the logical next step for me. As the first member of my family to attend university, this can again be seen as progress – and a goal I would very much like to achieve.

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